Coordinated School Health
Coordinated School Health in Boston Public Schools
The Coordinated School Health Model focuses on eight components in the schools that influence health. This model is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.
Coordinating the policies and programs of these components into a systematic approach can enable schools to:
- Reduce gaps and redundancies in services
- Build collaboration across departments and staff
- Build partnerships with public health, health professions and other community organizations
- Focus efforts on improving school health, educational and social outcomes
Physical Education/Physical Activity
Physical education is a school-based instructional opportunity for students to gain the necessary skills and knowledge for lifelong participation in physical activity. In Boston Public Schools, a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) includes high quality and quantity of both physical education and physical activity during the school day. CSPAP also supports before and after school physical activity programs to promote the involvement of students, staff, family and the community.
Healthy School Environment
The healthy school environment concerns the physical and aesthetic surroundings, the psychosocial climate, safety, and culture of the school; school safety and emergency plans; and the periodic review and testing of the factors and conditions that influence the environment. This includes facilities conditions, transportation, biological and chemical agents inside and outside the school; and physical conditions such as temperature, noise, lighting, air quality and potential health and safety hazards. The qualities of the psychosocial environment include the physical, social, and emotional conditions that affect safety and the well-being of students and staff.
Mental Health/School Counseling
These services are provided to improve students’ mental, emotional, and social health and include individual and group assessments, interventions, and referrals. Organizational assessment and consultation skills of counselors and psychologists contribute not only to the health of students but also to the health of the school environment. Professionals such as certified school counselors, psychologists, and social workers provide these services.
Health promotion for staff includes opportunities for staff to improve their health status through health assessments, health education and health-related fitness activities. Promoting staff wellness not only improves health, but also increases morale, and a greater overall commitment to promoting a school health program. Staff Wellness activities provide a great opportunity for positive role modeling and have been known to improve productivity, decrease absenteeism and reduce health insurance costs.
Involvement of students, parents, community representatives, health specialists and volunteers in schools provides an integrated approach for enhancing the health and well being of students both at school and in the community. School Wellness Councils, community health coalitions and organizations can build support for school health programs. School staff including principals, teachers in partnership with students, parents and volunteers can provide leadership in this area.
Designed to provide access to and/or referral to primary care services, prevent, control and manage illnesses, chronic conditions or other health problems, Boston Public Schools Health Services is a critical component of the Coordinated School Health Model. School-based nurses and school-based health centers provide educational and counseling opportunities for promoting and/or maintaining personal, family and community health.
A comprehensive k – 12 health education curriculum with a skills-based approach that addresses the physical, emotional, mental and social dimensions of health is a critical component of a school health program. By focusing on Analyzing Influences, Accessing Resources, Interpersonal Communication, Decision Making, Goal Management and Health Advocacy, the Frameworks for BPS Health Education will develop content knowledge and the necessary skills for making health-promoting decisions, achieving health literacy, adopting health-enhancing behaviors, and promote the health of others and the community.
Foods and Nutrition Services provides access to a variety of nutritious and appealing meals that meet the health and nutrition needs of all students and follow the US Dietary Guidelines. Additionally, nutrition education introduces students to healthy eating patterns and concepts that support their overall health and readiness to learn in the school community.